NEAR PICCADILLY, BY ANNETTE SISSON
In homage to Jack Gilbert’s “Married”
First Christmas, twenty-six years
ago, time tumbled ahead of us.
One day after, I boarded a plane
for London. Without you. Snow piled
along glittering streets. Wind blistered my eyes.
The Thames blustered, hushed by edgings of ice.
And every hour, my body missing its ribcage.
Heart valves slipping. I scoured the city
for relief. Traffic flooded the street, surged
from the wrong direction. I stood on a curb
near Piccadilly Circus straining to cross,
to gather myself, salvage the lost body
parts. Raw, blasted by river and gust,
hobbled by a cold ocean. Riven by want.
Annette Sisson has published poetry at Typishly, One, Turtle Island Quarterly, Kosmos, KAIROS, River Heron Review Psaltery & Lyre, Nashville Review, and many others, as well as a chapbook entitled A Casting Off (Finishing Line, May 2019). Among other awards, she was named a BOAAT Writing Fellow for 2020 and was nominated for "Best of the Net" in 2019. Her full-length book of poetry, Small Fish in High Branches, was recently named a finalist with Glass Lyre Press and a semifinalist for the Brittingham and Felix Pollak Prize for Poetry (U of Wis P). It continues its quest for a home.